Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2011
Written by The Independent Staff

20110817-finds-0101GATOR CHIC
If you’ve been looking for something stylish to wear to your next PETA protest, then look no further than these alligator deck shoes available from Mark Station Co. You can grab a pair made to order or purchase directly from the store. Each pair is available in any size or width in either loafer or lace-up styles. They come with a vibram sole and deerskin lining and are available in more than 30 colors from locally caught alligator skin. Two-tone coloring is also available. All deck shoes sell at $850. Drop by the store at 111 Bourque Road or call 988-9964 to place your order. — Wynce Nolley

LOUISIANA BY WAY OF VERMONT
Look Away, Dixieland: A Carpetbagger’s Great-Grandson Travels Highway 84 in Search of the Shack-up-on-Cinder-Blocks, Confederate Flag-Waving, Squirrel-Hunting, Boiled Peanuts, Deep Drawl, Don’t-Stop-the-Car-Here South is a shorter book than its name implies and worth a read. Published by Louisiana State University Press, it’s about Vermont native James B. Twitchell, a retired professor who dug into his family’s tree to its roots. His great-grandfather went from New England to Louisiana and married a local girl. Then a fateful encounter in 1874 drove the family back up north. Twitchell puts aside his Deep South stereotypes and drives on through, tracing his travels as well as his family’s history. “Louisiana,” writes Twitchell, “is a very happy place. You can feel it. The gumbo is just really hot.” Proof that while appreciation for our state may run through the blood, tough taste buds do not. Available for $23.50 in hardcopy and also available for your Kindle or Nook. — Anna Purdy

IT’S CLICHÉ TO CALL IT A GUMBO
There’s something magical happening again in New Orleans’ music scene — a give and take between its traditional sources and outside influences, a happy confluence of spit valves and samplers in which funk, jazz and R’n’B are melded in a hip-hop crucible into something foreign and fantastic yet quaintly familiar. Tennessee guitarist/vocalist/rapper Elijah Peavler traded Music City for the Crescent City a few years ago, pulled together his closest musical associates from both meccas, now known collectively as The Relief Effort, and produced what 10 years ago would have been called trip-hop. Hip-Hop Soul Funk (3Piece Productions) is just what its name implies — a musical chef’s blend of urban styles that pays homage to everyone from Curtis Mayfield and the Isley Brothers to Ice Cube and The Roots. The 10 tracks on Hip-Hop Soul Funk can be downloaded as MP3s for $9.99 at CDBaby.com. The CD can be purchased through LouisianaMusicFactory.com for $15.99. — Walter Pierce

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